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UKSolicitorJA, Solicitor
Category: Law
Satisfied Customers: 4312
Experience:  English solicitor with over 12 years experience
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Employed a contractor for 8500 but invoiced nearly 20K. I

Customer Question

Employed a contractor for 8500 but invoiced nearly 20K.

I immediately offered the original sum and it was rejected. They then employed solicitors. I sent them a cheque in full and final settlement they refused but said they would keep the cheque towards the full amount. I wrote to say that was not the offered and stopped the cheque. The only reason I did this is to stop the solicitors using my own money costing both me and the contractor a lot of money.

I feel the man has no money and if I pay anything he will use that knowing he can place his company into liquidation and start again if he looses

I am very confident the sum I offered can be supported by my evidence and countered by his own.

So far I have not made any deductions and I have now been invoiced from another contractor meaning the sum would be reduced by 2K.

I have been having demands from his solicitors since October, I have had four telephone calls to see if we could negotiate. I don't want to go to court but I am not paying a penny more. The last time the solicitor phoned he wanted the matter off his desk, he had spoken to a barrister and the case was a mess. I said it its not from my point of view and as his clients firm had made year upon year of losses at company house, had sent email saying it would put his firm through and the indisputable contradictory evidence his client was coming up with if they went to court I would seek security of costs and would pay the sum I agree in into court.

He has now written to say his client is confident and if I do not pay 16k in a few weeks it will go to court and he will seek summery judgement for the dishonoured cheque.

The questions---is it too late to reduce my offer now I have the new invoices? and the second is an undertaking to pay onto court going to save costs and counter the summery judgement.

Or should I pay what I think and hope they don't use the money to chance their arm?
Submitted: 4 years ago.
Category: Law
Expert:  UKSolicitorJA replied 4 years ago.

You should only pay what was original agreed with the contractor.

If you had agreed to pay 8500 and the contractor has not carried out any additional work at your request, then you will only be liable to pay this sum.

You are perfectly entitled to dispute any invoice which is not in line with what has been agreed, so the invoice for 20K is certainly something you are able to dispute.

You already have evidence to back up your offer. If you pay the amount which was agreed to them, they will have no basis for asking for summary judgement for the dishonoured cheque and you can defend any action and say that you have already paid whatever was agreed to them.

You should pay what has been agreed and then let them do what they want. I do not see any court awarding judgement against you if you are in the right.

All the best